Flecha Smyre has spent over a decade mourning the loss of her son Montrell Phenix, who was shot and killed on Nov. 7, 2010.
"That was the worst night I've ever had," said Smyre.
Bronshae Lonell Robinson shot Phenix at the intersection of Earle Avenue and Forrest Street in Waco.
According to the arrest affidavit, Robinson was driving recklessly, which caused a car to run into the vehicle Phenix was driving. Police records say Phenix asked Robinson if he planned to cover the damages before walking back toward his car. At that time, officers said Robinson shot Phenix several times in his upper body.
"It just seems like it's a daily routine that go one and take place through out the cities," said Smyre.
Texas sees a surge of violent crime
Texas murders were up 37 percent from 1,403 murders in 2019 to 1,927 in 2020, according to a Department of Public Safety Report.
In January Waco Police Chief sounded the alarm after seeing violent crime go up in Waco.
"The majority of incidents we are seeing are between the 17 to 28 age group," said Sheryl D. Victorian, Waco Chief of Police.
Aggravated assaults are up 16.4 percent. The total violent crimes were higher in 2020 than any other year in the past decade.
Violent crime in Killeen is up 15 percent in 2019 there were 14 murders in 200 there was a jump to 26 which is an 85 percent increase.
Relaxed Gun Laws in Texas have some concerned
On Sept. 1, most Texans were able to carry handguns in public without going through training or having to get permits.
To even think about letting someone buy a gun and don't even have a license for one, you're setting them up to go do whatever and they can carry it wherever they want.
Some law enforcement officials worry that the laws might have to do with the uptick of gun violence in the state.
"I think it might have something to do with gun ownership, hints irresponsible use of weapons who won't go on and receive training," said Sheryl D. Victorian, Waco Chief of Police.
HB 1927 allows those who qualify under the law can carry a handgun in a public place in Texas without a license to carry (LTC).
- Be at least 21 years old
- Not have a prior felony conviction as described in Texas Penal Code Section 46.04
- Not have a recent conviction for certain types of misdemeanors as described in Texas Penal Code Sections 46.02 and 46.04
- Not be subject to an unexpired protective order as described in Texas Penal Code Section 46.04(c)
- Not be restricted from possessing a firearm under federal law as described in 18 United States Code Section 922(g)
- Not be intoxicated, except in certain situations as described in Texas Penal Code Section 46.02(a-6)
“You could say that I signed into law today some laws that protect gun rights,” Abbott said at the bill signing in June. “But today, I signed documents that instilled freedom in the Lone Star State.”
The Texas Police Chiefs Association said the bill was a risk to the public and law enforcement but now all law enforcement agreed.
"The core laws that was the big premise of this thing was that this doesn't change a single thing other than that you no longer have to get a license," said Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe. "Any and all existing laws on the books that apply to gang members, felons, whatever the case, none of that's changed."